New heights for Schools 7s
Cape Town - Since its inception in 2007, the @lantic Sevens Series has seen over 1000 teams partake in what has become the largest schools’ Sevens tournament in the world.
The series consists of 15 provincial tournaments hosted in each of the traditional rugby provinces and culminates in the national champion’s tournament played in November.
This year’s final held at the Konka Camps in Rustenburg played host to an all Western Cape encounter between Hoërskool Tygerberg and Excelsior. The game proved to be a close affair, with Tygerberg eventually running out 29 – 17 winners.
Dederick Venter, Marketing Director for @lantic, said: “The quality of Sevens throughout the series has been fantastic, especially when you compare it to when we started out.”
After a successful stint with the Pumas Currie Cup team, Consumer ISP @lantic decided to shift its focus to the development of grassroots rugby in South Africa.
“Sevens has traditionally been ignored which is why we felt it was important to set up structures at school boy level so that by the time the players reached the professional ranks they had the skills needed to succeed at the highest level,” added Venter.
Despite losing in this year’s final, Excelsior High proved to be the success story of the series. After progressing through a very competitive regional tournament which included school boy giants; Paul Roos and Paarl Gym, Excelsior surprised everyone by beating Louis Botha, Merensky, Monument and Waterkloof on their way to the national final.
Venter added: “If it wasn’t for this series, the chances of any of these Excelsior players being picked up would have been slim to none.
Thanks to Sevens they have been able to show their skills on a national platform against schools they would never compete against in the 15 man game.”
2010 also saw the start of the @lantic Mini Sevens for players between the ages of five and eight. Venter says that by developing these skills at a young age by the time these players progress to high school, they already have the skills needed to compete at the next level.
Now in its fourth season the @lantic Sevens Series has unearthed a number of top class rugby players including Gerhard van den Heever (Bulls), Guy Cronje (Sharks), Hoffman Maritz and Branco Du Preez (SA Sevens).
According to Venter: “This year’s series was a big success with a number of potential rugby stars emerging, including Jody Reynecke & Ruan Mostert (Hoërskool Tygerberg), Francois Tredoux & Thys Smit (Hoërskool Waterkloof) and Vernon Du Randt (Hoërskool Pionier). All of these guys have big futures in SA rugby.”
Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu, is a firm believer in the series and has stressed that he will be using the @lantic series as a feeder for IRB Sevens World Series and the Olympic Sevens squad in 2016.